1990-2010: 20 Years of German Reunification in Global Context1990-2010: 20 Years of German Reunification in Global Contexthttp://www.haverford.edu/calendar/details/158651Stokes Multicultural Center2010-11-11T16:00:002010-11-11T19:00:00
November 11, 4:00PM–7:00PM
Stokes Multicultural Center
An interdisciplinary panel discussion.
Berlin Wall Coming Down, Reuters.com
Visiting Assistant Professor of German, Imke Brust, and the CPGC present an interdisciplinary panel discussion.
After forty years of separation, the two German states united at break-neck speed in less than a year by signing an internationally guaranteed settlement that symbolized the end of the Cold War. Between the fall of the wall on the 9th of November 1989 and the reunification on the 3rd of October 1990, the demand of the East German protestors, which had brought down the wall —“We are the people!”— was quickly transformed into “We are one people!” Germany’s speedy reunification accelerated the process of European integration and spearheaded the search for ways to overcome the legacies of the continent’s previous five decades of turmoil and division.
The interdisciplinary panel discussion “20 Years of German Reunification in Global Context” will emphasize the connection to other important world events such as the violent breakup of former Yugoslavia; the disintegration of the Soviet Union; the end of apartheid in South Africa; and the emergence of post-Cold War Europe. In this wider context, the panel discussion will also address the politics of democracy that informed, or were bypassed during, the process of reunification. The paradox of German reunification, which validated ethnic nationalism while serving as the pivot of a multinational European Union, raises interesting questions about the ongoing tensions between nationalism and the construction of a multi-ethnic European identity. These tensions manifested in the attacks against Germans of Turkish origin after reunification, attacks which reflected the wider ambivalence regarding Turkey’s inclusion in the European Union. Similarly, the Roma question which has recently agitated French politics suggests that the ghosts of wars past in Europe have yet to be exorcised from the continent’s body politic.
Twenty years on, the forces unleashed by the fall of the Berlin Wall have redefined Germany and Europe. This panel will take stock of those changes.
- Nora Alter, Professor of Film & Media, Temple University
- Imke Brust, Visiting Assist. Professor of German, Haverford College
- Alexander Kitroeff, Associate Professor of History, Haverford College
- Vladimir Kontorovich, Professor of Economics, Haverford College
- Frank Trommler, Professor Emeritus of German, University of Penn
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